During the beginning of the pandemic, many people used alcohol as an escape and a way to manage stress by treating themselves to an evening cocktail or two. This is OK every once in a while, but it’s certainly not a healthy solution for handling everyday hassles.
Editor’s note: if you’re worried you have a serious drinking problem, please seek professional help or join AA for support and guidance.
If you’re reading this and are simply looking to cut back on your weekly or monthly beverages, these seven tips can help kick-start the process and keep you on track.
Sounds obvious, but if you write it down and keep track of how many glasses of wine or cocktails you drink in a week, by putting it on paper it’ll be right in front of your face so you can see how much you’re drinking. Each time you don’t go over your limit, reward yourself with something (big or small).
Spritz your wine.
Instead of drinking a full glass of wine, pour part wine part spritz. You’ll still get the satisfaction of sipping vino but with half the alcohol.
Hold yourself accountable.
Let your closest friends know that you’re actively trying to drink less. By saying it out loud and sharing your intention with someone, it will help hold you accountable. Plus, your circle can act as a support group. Who knows, maybe they will join you and you can cut back together.
Limit your at-home drinking.
Drinking alone at home is not only a little sad, but it’s also a slippery slope and can lead to a bigger problem. Save your weekly or monthly drinks for when you leave the house or for on the weekend. This way you’ll look forward to it and feel like you’ve earned it.
Alternate water in between beverages.
It’s always important to stay hydrated when you’re drinking, that’s a fact. By alternating one alcoholic drink and one glass of water, you’ll feel better the next day, and it’ll slow down the amount you consume.
Switch to a nonalcoholic alternative.
There are several delicious nonalcoholic options that still allow you to let loose and can help release stress. Find one you like and substitute it in as your weekly drink of choice.
Distract yourself with an activity.
When you have the urge to reach for a beer or glass of wine, distract yourself by doing an activity like a quick walk around the block or do 10 jumping jacks to get your mind off booze and remind yourself that you’re in control and have the choice to opt for healthier habits. It’ll be hard at first, but once you get in the swing of it, you’ll be thankful and hopefully slowly start to crave alcohol a little bit less.